Archive for the '999' Category

What If You Call The Emergency Services and They Don’t Respond?

January 26, 2007

You might remember that just a few days ago here on SebRT.com I covered a series of spoof or non-emergency calls to 911 (999) emergency services. It is always bad when people abuse the services that are set up for when we need help the most but it is even worse when the emergency services don’t believe you or choose not to act when the emergency is actually serious and very real!

Well it happened. According to CNN last night at around 1:45AM the fire department was called about a BBQ restaurant that was burning down. The dispatcher was sure that it couldn’t possibly be a fire and quizzed the caller and finally decided that the call was not in regards to an emergency and the BBQ joint was just smoking ribs. 45 minutes later they got a call from another passer-by that the restaurant was on fire and this time after a quiz about how big the fire was and what colour the smoke was the dispatcher sent the fire department to tackle the now growing blaze. This was of course too late, the place is a total loss.

This is a serious problem as I saw in the interviews I watched on CNN. The Fire Department Asst. Chief Evans was less than happy to accept total responsibility that the dispatcher did in fact act too late and even said “there was PROBABLY a fire when the first caller rang in to the emergency services.” It seems to me that there are several at fault here. The dispatcher could have had his head screwed on properly and used his common sense At 1:45 in the morning they are not likely to be doing heavy duty cooking. The caller could have been a little bit more communicative and asked the dispatcher to send a police car out to assess the situation and they would have of course called out the fire department.

I offer similar advice to last week. Be smart when you call the emergency services. Be smart enough that if you think there is a fire or other emergency that you push the dispatcher if they don’t believe you. On the few occasions I have had need to call the emergency services I have never had them tell me that they don’t believe me. According to CNN the Fire Dept. was just up the road, If I was that close to the fire and knew the area, I would have gone and knocked on the door of the fire station. They are all at fault here but the dispatcher who didn’t send the resources out, should be fired.

Advertisements

Call 911 If You Need Genuine Help, Not Psychiatric Help!

January 17, 2007

I was just talking with a couple friends of mine on Skype and the conversation lulled so where do we end up but looking at funny videos on YouTube. I sent them one that I count as a favourite and it involves a woman calling 911 and they actually offer to come over and shoot her daughter. The operator is saying it as a joke but it is obviously not in least bit funny whatever way you spin it.

I looked for a few more examples of 911 calls gone bad or funny and came across a few more examples. Not only do people misuse the emergency phone number that is there for people to call when there is a genuine emergency. 911 has the same function as the UK’s 999 allows the citizen to contact the emergency services from any phone that has a dialtone, regardless of the cost. I would call these people who are using it as a number to complain about their order in Burger King or other trivial endevour hardly worth the time it takes to speak the words.

The video above is the worst of any of these examples. The police are called via 911 and the idiotic woman caller tells the dispatcher that she was attracted to a police officer who had just been out to her house and wanted to know if the dispatcher could relay her phone number to him! You have to hear it to believe it.

My message to everyone and anyone who is tempted to call the emergency services, unless it’s obviously very serious like your mother is lying on the floor in writhing pain, think twice before phoning the emergency services…they are there to offer emergency help, it’s not there as a free dating service or burger patrol, be smart!

Lights, Sirens, Action!

August 24, 2006

AmbulanceToday started out like any other, I got up, checked email…everything was fine. In the United States today many radio stations will be carrying a story about my music video release of “Rock and Roll Heaven.” I was quite excited to start the day and I came downstairs, greeted my mom and Max my dog…and then all hell broke loose!

With an Arrrrhhhhhhh!!! from my mom, everything started, and everything went to hell. She was in screaming agony. She sat down on the sofa and for the next half hour as I sat there, she was in pain, and then not and back to pain again. I was of course very worried because my mother has an extremely high threshold for pain, and does not usually actually scream in pain.

I called the local doctors surgery to see about getting her in. I explained that my mother was screaming in agony and she needed to see someone right now! The absolute incompetence of our local doctor’s surgery followed with orchestrated precision. They were unwilling and unable to change from the programmed response. They said that she would not be able to see a doctor until 4PM. By this time I was getting irritated and told them that was simply not good enough, she needed to see a doctor immediately, and would not be able to make it to the surgery under her own locomotion. As expected, I was placed on hold while “she checked” with the doctor on call. She came back and told me that she was unable to get us in before more than an hours time had passed. I told her that an hour was too long, and asked her for the phone number for our local Hospital, I did not think it necessary to call the emergency number. She gave me a number that was incorrect, outdated. With another scream from my mother I made the decision to call 999 and ask for an ambulance.

The ambulance arrived about 20 minutes later with two very pleasant paramedics/EMTs. They talked to her and determined after taking blood pressure and talking about medical history, that it was necessary to take her to the hospital Accident and Emergency Room. When we got there the usual waiting game started and she was finally seen by an emergency room doctor, about an hour later. He said it was nothing serious, and offered her a pain killer that contained Codine. My mother is violently allergic to Codiene, and when informed of this the doctor was unable to offer an alternative other than paracetemol, which is of course not a strong enough drug for agony. She arrived back in the waiting room less than 5 minutes after she had gone in and is still in similar pain now that we are home. I hope this clears up soon.

We had to get a taxi home which started another game when the Taxi driver told us that he had absolutely no idea how much it should cost, and that he thought it would be around 10 pounds, He radioed to his dispatch, and was unable to raise them without incredible interference on the channel. He had a mobile phone in the car and never once considered using it to call his dispatch. We told him we thought it would be around 5 pounds and I actually ended up calling the taxi agency and asking them myself! They informed me it was 4.50 and I told the driver. He was visibly irritated that he was unable to swindle us. So we got home for 4.50.

An incredibly stressful and non-productive morning.

You can never tell what life if going to throw you at you, can you? I will add that I plan to contact the doctor’s surgery and launch an official complaint. I am pleased with the diagnosis of “not serious” anything not serious means we can breathe a little easier, well I can, it still hurts for my mom to take a deep breath. I am hopeful that she will be better in the next couple of days, and I am grateful for the neighbours who have come and asked if I need anything and if my mom is alright. Knowing people care, really helps.